At least 75 people were killed on Sunday evening after powerful wind which reached up to 109 kilometers per hour and rain storms swept across northern India. Dozens were injured.
Most of the victims were from the Uttar Pradesh state where about 100 houses were gutted in a fire which broke out due to lightning in Sambhal district's Rajpura area. Fatalities were also in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Bihar. Majority of the deaths occurred when winds and falling trees caused buildings to collapse, leaving people buried in the wreckage.The powerful storm destroyed dozens of homes and blew down trees and power lines in several states.The minaret of a mosque in the town of Bareilly fell on a group of people taking shelter in the courtyard, killing five of them.
Dozens of flights were diverted from New Delhi's international airport as the storm blew into the city. Trains and commuter rail lines were also paused. Thunderstorms also occurred at isolated places in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Assam, Meghalaya, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. "Saddened by the loss of lives due to storms in some parts of the country. Condolences to the bereaved families. I pray for the speedy recovery of those injured," Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter. Congress President Rahul Gandhi, too, condoled the deaths and urged his party workers to provide all possible assistance to the affected families. According to media reports, adverse weather condition will prevail in many parts of the country over the next 48-72 hours.